Mark Weber visited our Centre For Family Business again

 In Business Relationships, Employee Relationships, Leadership, Work Environment

Submitted by Rick BakerSpirited Leaders

Mark Weber is a ‘regular’ guest speaker at CFFB…he has spent time with us once a year for a number of years now.

At this year’s February breakfast meeting, Mark’s topic was: ‘Leading & Motivating‘…a topic near and dear to pretty much all of us.

One of Mark’s Key Messages:

If you have to bet on the outcome…considering people and situation…put your money on situation.
The point is: Situations have a major impact on People. “When the situation is strong people with very different personalities will behave in similar ways or even exactly the same way.” Mark provided an example of research performed on this topic: the Good Samaritan study.

Mark put it another way, “Situation is an overwhelmingly powerful influence over what people do.” And he added, “Human beings don’t have a lot of bandwidth so they develop habits of behaviour to deal with that lack of bandwidth.”
About Goals, Mark talked about research that confirmed, “Aggressive goals lead to unethical behaviour“.

About running a business, Mark explained, there are skills and habits for starting a business and there are different skills and habits for leading. This, of course, has implications in family business. For example, the founder had certain skills and habits and as the business grows [or transitions to the next generation] different skills and habits are needed to ensure sustainable growth and leadership.

Here is a great piece of Mark Weber wisdom: “Good leaderhsip is highly motivating. Bad leadership sucks the life out of all you do.”

About good leadership – “…it is hard to pin it down and define it but you know it when you see it. So try to be a good leader but if you can’t manage that, at least, avoid being a lousy one”.
Mark outlined 6 Leadership Tasks:

  1. Define reality1: “good appreciation has has the same characteristics as good constructive feedback
  2. Appreciate your people [this was Mark’s Dad’s #1 Rule]
  3. Have and communicate a Vision …and having the Vision is easier than doing the work to make it reality
  4. Model the desired behaviour
  5. Focus on Learning2: “reward effort; knowledge, even after failure, endures”  [another terrific quote by Mark]
  6. Don’t blow it: avoid behaviour that kills motivation3

Mark closed his excellent presentation with some advice he received from his uncle:

People care how they feel about themselves when they are with you. How do you make people feel about themselves?


  1. A Leader’s reality can be defined up front: in terms of Values and Master Rules
  2. More about Life-Long Learning
  3. More about Motivation

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